Bhima-Koregaon violence accused claims innocence
Mumbai, January 5: The prime suspect behind the Bhima-Koregaon violence, Sambhaji Bhide, has claimed innocence and solicited inquiry into the matter. Bhide is accused of orchestrating the violence against the Dalit community in Pune district which resulted in civilian death and casualty.
Sambhaji Bhide has said that: ” the allegations of a conspiracy made against me are completely baseless” and that he was not involved in tactics to divide communities in an India Today interview.
Eighty-five-year-old, right-wing leader who heads Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan has declared that ”The allegations of a conspiracy made against me are completely baseless. I demand the Government to investigate this matter thoroughly. Strong punishment must be given to whosoever is guilty” in an issued statement. Bhide also accused the chief of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader and the grandson of Dr. BR Ambedkar of making false allegations against him. He added: “Prakash Ambedkar blamed me for the conspiracy behind the Bhima-Koregaon violence which is incorrect. This should be thoroughly probed”.
Bhide met Sangli district collector and appealed for a thorough investigation and demanded the withdrawal of charges against him. The right-wing leader was accompanied by thousands of his supporters.
The case was filed against Bhide a day after the Bhima Koregaon violence on January 2. The Pimpri Police lodged the case against Bhide under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and the IPC section to murder.